Summary: Pharmacy Technicians work in pharmacies under the direction of a pharmacist. Their main responsibility is filling prescriptions according to doctors' orders. Pharmacy Technicians prepare medications for dispensing to patients. This generally includes retrieving drugs in the correct dosage form and strength, measuring the appropriate amount of drug and producing a prescription label. Pharmacy Technicians work with drugs to be administered orally, topically, for the eye, nose, etc. Depending upon the practice setting, a Pharmacy Technician is also involved in the admixture of drugs for intravenous use. Other duties include:
• checking inventories and ordering supplies
• receiving and checking in supplies
• assisting customers
• keeping pharmacy work areas clean
• complete insurance forms
• preparation of “bingo cards” for nursing home patients
Course content includes: pharmacy medical terminology, the history of pharmacy, the pharmacy practice in multiple environments, pharmacy calculations and measurements, reading and interpreting prescriptions and defining drugs by generic and brand names. Through classroom lecture and hands-on labs, students will review dosage calculations, drug classifications, the “top 200 drugs”, I.V. flow rates, sterile compounding, dose conversions, aseptic technique, the handling of sterile products, total parental nutrition (TPN), dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control and billing and reimbursement.
Job Outlook: Pharmacy Technicians may work in retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, home infusion pharmacies, long term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, pharmacy benefit managers and large industrial complexes. The demand for Pharmacy Technicians continues to grow with demand expected to increase substantially. This high demand is the result of the constant availability of new drugs, the national shortage of registered pharmacists, the establishment of certified pharmacy technicians and the aging population. The median wage in 2017 for Pharmacy Technicians in California was $18.36 hourly.
Certification: This comprehensive 50-hour course will prepare students to enter the pharmacy field and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s PTCB exam.